August 20, 2016
Picture this: you are running to the grocery store, your baby in tow. You park the car and as your baby cries for you to pick them from their carseat you fumble with a Ktan or you can’t clip your Tula quick enough. Ring sling to the rescue! The ring sling is such an amazing carrier and while we love traditional carriers like the Tula and Emei, having a ring sling on hand when
running errands with a little one is quick, easy, comfortable and allows for easy breastfeeding.
The ring sling was invented in 1981 in Hawaii by a man named Rayner Garner who invented it for his wife to carry their baby. Nowadays there are many different companies who make these slings in a variety of colors, fabrics and styles. Ring slings are great for carrying your newborn close during the earliest days and perfect for your 9 month old busy baby who loves to look around while hanging out on your hip.
I am here to talk about 2 ring slings.
The Maya Wrap and the Flip & Bean.
Pro’s of ring slings:
They are beautiful
Great for a quick carry
Easy to wear and adjust
Not great for long wear of a larger baby
Not great for house chores where you need to use both arms
I wouldn’t recommend that a ring sling be someone’s only carrier as their baby gets bigger. I am sure long wearing a newborn would be fine in this but a larger baby can tend to get a bit uncomfortable. Also, I found it hard to wear Aurelia during chores in the ring sling and use both arms. If I used the arm that the rings were resting on, the fabric seemed to ride up and dig into my neck a bit.
Maya Wrap ring sling
Maya Wrap is the brain child of Susan Gmeiner who, after falling in love with a neighbors home-made ring sling, began modifying it to better suit her and her baby’s needs. Maya Wrap was born in 1996. The Maya Wrap team is comprised of all work at home mothers, just one reason we love the company.
The lightly padded ring sling, which is what we are here to review, is made of %100 cotton hand loomed fabric. The dyes do not contain any copper, nickel, lead, mercury, cadmium, cobalt, aluminum, arsenic, chromium, or any other poisonous substance.
The ring sling can hold babies 8lbs-35lbs and comes in sizes starting at small-xtra large, depending on how long you want the tail.
Additional Pro’s of the Maya Wrap
Comfortable on your shoulder
Fabric is strong and breathable
Easy to adjust
This this carrier is beautiful!!
I was lucky enough to have Nurture Nest lend me the Maya Wrap ring sling in medium. I loved the way it looked when I wore it, even with a beautiful dress that I wore out to a dinner date night with my husband. And others noticed the sling as well. I was stopped by multiple people telling me how much they loved my carrier. The lightly padded cushion hit my shoulder in just the right place and is also big enough that I imagine many people of different sizes would get the cushion benefit. I wore Aurelia in this carrier for a couple hours to see how I felt. Aurelia is 20lbs and 9 months old. While I did have some pain in my right side from they way I was standing while holding her on my hip, my shoulder did not ache at all. This carrier is perfect for a quick carrry. I took it with me while running around to the store, meetings and out to dinner. I packed it for a weekend in NYC as well and after my structured carrier got wet in the rain, I wore Aurelia in the ring sling into the night and she actually fell asleep in it. As I said before, I was a bit achey after wearing her for quite a while but not due to the cushion on the shoulder. It is just a bit hard on your back to wear a larger baby for long periods of time in this style carrier. But its a quick carry must-have! I was also very pleased with the fabric. The woven fabric was strong and structured enough to hold Aurelia while also being breathable. The extra long tail was perfect to shade her from the hot sun. The ring sling is great for breastfeeding discreetly on the go.
Flip and Bean
After researching and reading about Dr. Sears attachment style of parenting, Flip and Bean owner ShaunaBeth Paradiso grew a very strong bond with her high-needs daughter and grew to be able to better understand her and learn her needs. After searching for an affordable ring sling she realized that there were not many on the market that worked for her. She began to make her own ring slings at home and now offers her product to other parents who have had similar experiences and are looking for a more affordable ring sling.
Flip and Bean ring slings are handmade of muslin cotton, a 100% cotton edge and come in a variety of colors. The shoulder is slightly padded and there is a small pocket on the tail. There is a 2 year warranty on the craftsmanship of the ring slings. The sling holds babies up to 35lbs. The Flip and Bean retails for starting at $50 and going up to $75. This is a bit more modest compared to the Maya which retails for starting at around $80. The reviews on etsy for the ring sling are almost always 5 stars and people rave about dealing with ShaunaBeth, the great price and quick shipping.
Deal directly with owner and ring sling maker when ordering
A little pocket on the tail
I love the Flip and Bean for the same reasons I love ring slings in general. Easy breastfeeding, quick carry and oh so stylish! I brought this ring sling with me to work meetings and long walks. What I love about the fabric is that when you pull it to fit your babe, it stays in place and is very taught. It is hard for me to think of the best word to describe the difference between that with the Maya but I think it seems more… structured? The fabric does not slip or sag at all after long wear. There is also a tiny pocket where you could keep keys, a cell phone, a piece of chocolate…
I do have a couple critiques, one is the same as with the Maya and a couple of additional comments. Like the Maya, it is not easy to use both arms when carrying your baby during chores or shopping. The difference is though, I felt the fabric dug more into my neck with the Flip and Bean. The padded shoulder was thin and actually did not hit my shoulder at all, it was more beneath my shoulder on my back so I did not get any benefit with the padding. For this reason I felt my shoulder was a bit more uncomfortable with the carry.